tv Newsmakers CSPAN October 20, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
. after that, a discussion on the obama relationship with the press. >> today on "newsmakers," congressman chris van hollen, a democrat in maryland and one of the conferees after an agreement to open up the government and raise the debt ceiling has been reached. you will sit down with your fellow colleagues to broker some sort of deal. here to help us with bastions this morning, to reporters -- andrew taylor with the associated press and david lightman. and he has the first question. go ahead. >> it you are a member of the conference. you are also a member of the supercommittee which failed. there have been various grand bargain talks that have failed. joe biden talks had failed.
what are the chances, particularly now that republicans have given up a tax increase in january and are taking a hard line now, what are the chances of getting a bigger agreement to tackle our deficit? >> that is a very fair question. i was disappointed in the fact that the supercommittee did not achieve a positive result. in this latest round, the democrats have been trying to get to the negotiating table since march. that is when the house passed the budget and the senate democrats passed their budget. the normal courses to begin negotiations. we were blocked by republicans in the house and senate. now we're finally going to the table. here is one thing i know. talks do not guarantee success. you mentioned examples where we were not able to get funding accomplished. if you refuse to talk, you are guaranteed failure. we hope within the scope of these conversations we are able to move the ball forward.
now the conferees, the negotiators they will have to , decide what the scope is. how much we want to fight off -- how much do we want to bite as part of these negotiations? that will be one of the early decisions we try and reach. the good news is that we hope that our republican colleagues have learned the right lesson from the debacle we just went through, unnecessary pain. imposed on the country for 16 days. it did not have to be that way. we are hoping that our colleagues will put down the clubs and recognize that this negotiation should be between the two budgets and no one should try to gain advantage again by threatening to shut down the government or default on our debt. if we can put down the clubs and have a serious conversation, maybe we can advance. >> your colleague patty murray told democrats yesterday saying , that you are going to look for common ground. common ground is different than compromise.
one of the areas where there might the common ground is to try to get rid of some or all of these across the board cuts in the pentagon or every domestic agency. is that probably what we're looking at? what are democrats willing to give up in order to alleviate what is known as sequestration? >> we have to decide what the full scope will be. part of any conversation would be to try to replace the so- called sequester. these are the very deep and across the board cuts, important investments like transportation, science and research. the congressional budget office recently said that if you keep those lower funding levels in place, that five this time next -- that by this time next year, you will have 800,000 fewer jobs in the united states of america. that is a self-inflicted wound we do not think the country can afford. we want to replace the cuts with
an equal amount of deficit reduction but done in a smarter way over a longer time. you do not have the immediate drive on the economy but you do -- you do not have the immediate drag on the economy, but you do get the benefit of long-term deficit reduction. there are a number of proposals. i put one for that would replace the sequester this year with a combination of targeted cuts. we should also get rid of some of the tax subsidies for big oil companies. that is just one example. you mentioned republicans having said that revenues might not be part of this conversation. i hope they do not take that position. i did hear speaker banners saying the other day we want to negotiate on everything, but he immediately took something off the table, revenue. that is not the way you come to a negotiation. it is really hard for people to understand how the republicans care about the deficit and debt but then say they refuse to close a single tax loophole for the purpose of reducing.
-- of reducing the deficit and debt. it which is why we have taken a balanced approach recommended by every bipartisan commission. when it comes to tackling it long-term. >> this begs the question, can you accept an agreement without additional revenue? >> let's decide what the scope of this is. we believe when you're talking about replacing sequester that you should take the balanced approach. right? you need to find cuts to replace it. we also believe we should be able to close some tax. >> can you accept the agreement without additional revenues? >> it totally depends on what we are talking about. it depends on what the scope of the agreement is. it is our view that if you're talking about moving forward with any significant long-term deficit reduction you have to consider. we believe you need to
implement cuts in special- interest tax rates. the questionpose to our republican colleagues. what is so precious? are you interested in protecting spending on the national defense? those are questions they will have to answer. >> you and i talked about a month ago. you always had a good relationship with chairman ryan. you're quite frustrated before congress came back. the relationship seems to be not what it was. how much of that personal feeling get involved here? how much colors it? will you go back to that relationship or have you become so distrustful that it will make difficult to break the ice? >> we are not distrustful. we have a very good personal rapport and working relationship. a
as you know, we have very deep differences on these fundamental policy issues. if you were to come to a hearing, you would hear this difference is expressed in a very civil manner, sharp on the issues, but very simple. we are determined to try to get an agreement. one of the first orders of business is to decide what the scope of the discussion and that agreement should be. that will be something we try to determine if the next several weeks. >> when will you be sitting down next? how often would you sit down? the conferees -- and talk? >> we had our first meeting on thursday morning. we had a great discussion in terms of laying out our commitment to trying to make this process work. in terms of the next steps, those are decisions to be made by the chairman of the conference committee. in this case by rotation. that will be paul ryan.
he will obviously do that in consultation with others. we expect to have a meeting a dutch of the full conference committee at least a week from now. then we will have to decide what the pace of the meetings are. you can have meetings of the full conference committee or some subset in order to get things done. >> you have a december 13 deadline. >> that is right. it sounds like a long time. time passes very rapidly. i hope you will make productive use of it and hope we get right down to the meat of the issue. >> let me follow up on what is on the table. is the affordable care act on the table? >> if you look at the budgets, a lot of things are on the table. the scope of this conference is the entire republican budget. the republican budget gets rid of the affordable care act. i should say it gets rid of the good parts. it gets rid of the benefits.
it only balances in 10 years because they kept all the medicare savings. in fact, one of the things i do not think the public is fully aware of when republicans say , they want to get rid of the entire acts, if you did that it -- the entire affordable care act, if you did that, their budget would not balance. if you kept the revenue stream and the medicare savings that they complained about -- the answer to your question is that there is a very wide scope potentially for this conversation. our priorities of going to be accelerating job growth. that really has to be our focus, getting the economy moving faster. that means making sure we invest in our infrastructure where you continue to have high levels of unemployment and we have huge unmet needs. we do believe we have to replace the sequester. there are many republicans who agree with that.
because it is a drag on the economy. we believe to the extent that we think we should tackle long-term deficit reduction, e need to do -- you need to do it in a balanced way. that is the approach every bipartisan commission has recommended. there are also cuts to special interest tax breaks. >> president obama scored a pretty significant victory over the republicans. republicans wanted the confrontation over reopening government and increasing the debt ceiling. they thought increasing the debt ceiling was such an important piece of legislation that they might be able to barter and get something for it. they ended up not getting anything. do you think that this sets a precedent, what happened this week, in which we will not see this kind of governing anymore?
-- governing by crisis anymore? they may have learned about the balance of power when you have a president of one party and the senate controlled by the same party? >> that is a really big question. i do not think we are ever going to persuade the tea party caucus, this really reckless group, that they should not try again to shut down the government or threaten the debt ceiling. i don't think you are going to convince them. the question is like other -- are you going to convince speaker boehner and other leaders in the house. are they going to step up and try to forge bipartisan compromise? $24 billion lost to the economy. the peterson commission just issued a report saying since the
2010 elections has cost the country nine hundred thousand jobs. these are self-inflicted wounds. we really hope they will get beyond that. that will depend on the leadership stepping up. one thing they could do is show that they are going to allow democracy to work in the house. if we had had this vote on october 1 in the house, it would have had the same outcome. same outcome. the speaker refused to let the house work its will on immigration reform. we have a bipartisan bill sitting in the house. if only the speaker would let us vote. same is true on the bipartisan farm bill that came out of the senate. it may be one of the lessons here for the country will be to ask the speaker and let democracy work its will in the house. do not allow this faction to block things which caused us six -- days of unnecessary pain in 16 this country. and they are blocking immigration reform bill.
and the farm bill. let's get on with the business of the country. >> democratic leaders have said we are willing to talk about the affordable care act, reopen the government and we will talk. specifically what areas of the , affordable care act would you be willing to talk about? >> we're going to look at adjustments as necessary, as they come up. so if there are specific areas , where there are identified problems, we are happy to look at those. there are some questions about family coverage. there are some very specific, discrete issues we would like to work on. the challenge we have had is that while we want to work on our colleagues, their objective has not been to try to improve the affordable care act. as you know. their objective has been to wipe it out and defunded. -- defund it. in fact they have made a , conscious effort not to work
with us to fix it. that has been the problem. >> family issues, specifically what family issues which you consider discussing? >> there is an issue with respect to if you get coverage through your employer, whether that employer covers an individual who is employees or -- the individual who is employed or whether that coverage also affects other members in the family, it has to do with the percentage of income people are supposed to spend on their health insurance. these are very specific, granular issues. we would like to work with them on those. again they voted 47 times and house to "repeal" obamacare. we would like to sit down and
work on issues in the spirit of the working of the law. >> one area republicans want to do is repeal the medical device tax. would you agree? >> members had different positions on this. i do not think we should repeal it. it would immediately add $30 billion to the deficit. it was curious to hear people talk about increasing the deficit and debt in the context of lifting the debt ceiling. unless somebody has a much better way to adjust the deficit, i do not think there is a good reason to replace it. that will certainly be part of the conversation. all those things are within the scope of the budget conference committee. the other thing that is important to remember is the medical device tax, the rationale was that you were going to have a lot more insured americans that can now afford health care and afford to be covered with medical devices. the medical device industry benefits from the affordable
care act. there are a lot more people now that can have the coverage to pay for medical devices. that was the whole rationale. there are lots of people that would like to go back and get a special benefit for themselves. it seems to me there needs to be a policy rationale. >> prior to being the top democrat on the budget committee, you were chairman of your party's campaign committee for a couple of cycles. one cycle you rode a wave coming in and the next you rode a wave going out. democrats lost the house. can you put on your political hat and tell us your assessment of the midterms? i know it is early. there is a lot of worry there has been so much gerrymandering of districts, in fact he -- you participated in one in thattate of maryland,
people are locked into solidly democratic seats or solidly republican seats. the president's party typically loses seats in his sixth year in office. give us your take. >> andy, just to be clear on maryland, the state legislature -- [laughter] district got more republicans. certainly, i did not draw the lines. i would be happy to have more constituents. sad to lose my old ones. there is no doubt that the way the lines have been drawn around the country create some advantages for republicans. we all know they lost the popular vote for congress but ended up with more members of congress because the way the lines were drawn. if you look toward the next election, i think people are looking at this house of representatives, and see it as an institution that is totally out of touch with mainstream
america. latesto believe this episode, this unnecessary pain inflicted on the country because of the decision to try to get what they wanted by shutting down the government, threatening deficits i do think a lot of , americans have looked at that and said we do not want any more of that going forward. we want people who are willing to work together. republicans are going to have to decide for themselves how they want to conduct business in the house. one way to show they are willing to act on a bipartisan basis is to take of the immigration reform bill. clearly the overwhelming majorities in this country supporte it. the majority support the farm bill. that would be a way to show that they really want to govern from the center for all america and not bowing to the tea party's actions. >> the leadership of your party
in the house is in their 70s. they're not going to be there forever. you're in your 50s. you may be there a while. you have aspirations to be the democratic leader or speaker someday? >> i am focused on the budget committee. a lot of problems. we will see what the future holds. >> i want to take you back to politics. in swing districts, would you advise democratic candidates have president obama or vice president biden in the campaign for them? >> i think our candidates would welcome the president and the vice president. everyone has to make their own decisions on that. i think the message the president and the vice president have been articulating resonate with large parts of the population, including people in these districts. if you look at the president's budget, the kind of investment and jobs and education and trying to get the economy moving
is exactly what people are looking for. i am hoping we can move forward. >> not that you are a political scientist, but i will try anyway. his gallup number hit 41%. that does not show an overwhelming approval for him or his policies. how do you read the 41%? >> have been a whole lot of polls recently. they have shown the president's support growing as the congress has shown even greater and greater dysfunction. sometimes you have to measure these things in relative terms. unfortunately. everybody has been sinking in terms of public support. the president is held in much higher regard. now, our hope is -- it should be a small comfort to anybody that you are just less unpopular than
the other folks. this is an opportunity for congress to rebound a little bit. but again it will depend on the , speaker making a decision not to allow the tea party factions to continue to have disproportionate influence, to continue to lead the house of representatives by the nose. you cannot have a situation where senator cruz says something and the speaker reverses himself on an agreement he made. let's move forward on these bills. immigration reform, the farm bill. that would be an indication, i think, to the country that they really want to do something. >> i was hoping to get into some of the specifics that you are dealing with. when you're on the supercommittee, you had a lot of circular negotiations. there is this basket of something -- there is this non-
health savings. members of the supercommittee and people who observed it said, well, that money is ready to go. but in fact you are dealing with things like cutting off postal delivery on saturdays or making federal employees, many in euro district, pay more for their pensions, and on my ticket tax for security costs. can you talk about when you start putting some of these ideas together and you bring them out to the public or to your colleagues, aren't they really going to take a look and say this is going to be harder than we think? >> on the one hand, people say it should be easy to find all sorts of savings. but when you begin to look at specific areas, sometimes it becomes more difficult. as part of the budget control act, we did cut $1.2 trillion out of the discretionary spending, the things most people
think of as ongoing government expenditures, national parks. homeland security. that kind of thing. >> that was a very generic cut. >> right. >> it was not specific. >> it was taking out of projected spending. these are the places were they say we're going to have to make these decisions. with respects to the appropriations process, that is exactly we want to get to. set the levels that they can work with. they house funding level was so low that the house republican chairman said we need to get rid of this sequestered. -- get rid of the sequester. they were unable to pass the transportation bill because it included such deep cuts to important transit projects. they could not even vote on the education bill.
because of the deep cuts it would impose on scientific research and education. in terms of other areas of the budget, i mentioned one which are the agriculture subsidies. these are excessive payments. they go to agribusinesses. both good times and bad times. crop insurance is a very reasonable program, but even the crop insurance program has been overly subsidized. it is now 60% on average for crop insurance. i do not think americans realize they are subsidizing the pain to that extent. here is an example of what we call a mandatory program. -- mandatory spending program. with respect to federal employees, as part of the budget conference, we actually did change the law so that they would contribute for a -- more significantly to the pension. one group that has been hit
particularly hard lately is federal employees. i hope we do not take them while they are down. >> i want to turn back to politics. >> attorney general gensler has been called a backseat driver. -- an aggressive backseat driver. >> i'm sorry, who? >> attorney general gensler in montgomery county, maryland. he said these reports are exaggerated and denied many of the allegations. it is a drumbeat that just keeps going and going. you know him very well. assess the impact on the gubernatorial campaign. >> it is hard to tell. it is still relatively early. there are three terrific candidates in this race. anthony brown, the lieutenant dougnor, the gensler -- gensler. i think they would all be good
governors. it is hard for me to judge these things. campaigns do have their ups and downs, the ebbs and flows. we will just have to -- >> as you travel to montgomery county, what are people saying? >> in the last few weeks people have been talking about nothing but the government shut down which i certainly understand. they have had to weather a real storm throughout the country. obviously in this area it has been particularly intense. >> thank you for being our newsmaker. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> we are back with our reporters, andrew taylor and david lightman. david, let me begin with you. what did you hear from the top democrat on the house budget committee budget committee as they go into negotiations? this conference committee. the house and the senate. to come up with some sort of deal before the next deadline of december 13? >> same thing i heard thursday at the press conference. they are negotiating.
they are talking. isn't it great we are talking to each other? we did not expect it to say here is where we give. i was interested though in his comments about the affordable care act. they got a little bit specific on issues. there are some areas of discussion. nothing that is going to blow the act apart. there is potential to talk. >> what does that mean? if they go for the affordable look at the republican conferees. they all voted no, correct? is there another fight brewing on those issues plus the affordable care act? >> i do not think we will see another shutdown. i do not think the debt limit is going to be as dramatic or as much of a crisis in the future. there is a lot of pressure
on these negotiations because they do want to get rid of some or all of these across the board cuts. this is the public forum to do it. there are people more senior than them that will have the final say. particularly the president and senate majority leader harry reid and the speaker, of course. there really is not a lot of money they can find it there searching for common ground. common ground means what -- something a republican and a democrat can both agree on. it is a relatively limited set of options. i think there will be pressure on democrats to care more about the sequester's effects on domestic programs and you will not be able to get a tax increase out of this. there will be pressure on democrats to go ahead and replace it with spending cuts. >> you see what they are working on really is about sequestration.
and not much else beyond that? >> yes, i think that is fair. >> the politics could get interesting. polls show and we think that democrats one. won.mocrats democrats now are all in on this budget conference. it is going to be much more difficult for them to point fingers at republicans should this break up in disarray. we will see what happens. i think democrats have to be more aware of the politics. it'll be a little bit harder to put a tilt in their favor. >> how does house speaker boehner get his rank-and-file to vote for something if they come to an agreement that does not include something on the affordable care act that the conservative republicans wanted or in the senate? ted cruz? >> one of the things we learned this week is what happens when lawmakers go into a fight with heightened expectations. that is the way the republicans went into this fight over the debt limit.
now i think expectations will be tempered. do not forget. just as democrats want to get rid of spending cuts, these spending cuts really go after the pentagon. there is a nuance that is not commonly known which is that the cuts actually grow deeper from the just completed fiscal year to the fiscal year that just began. it is about 20 billion in additional cuts relative to last year. that all comes out of the pentagon. there are a lot of republican defense hawks who have a real interest in seeing these talks succeed as well. >> i hear you saying that this is just about sequestration basically. all the other fights that we saw at different times or on
a different policy front. >> republicans are not going to give in on revenues. democrats are not going to give on any major portion of the affordable care act. it is an election year. this will be in november. for a lot of people it will be on primaries. the primary season begins very quickly in 2014. particularly in the republican party, it is going to start playing itself out very quickly in the heartland, not in the lead conference rooms of washington. >> thank you both for your time. we appreciate it. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> one thing that is interesting -- it was not that important in 1995. i think it is critical now. the certification of mobile devices. hundreds of thousands of devices. we have to ensure that they do not interfere with each other.
back in 1995, there were not that many mobile phones going through the process. but now, it's really important. between a huge problem apple and samsung and motorola and others. they need the certification. we have literally billions of dollars in advertising. then suddenly, what ever the plans were, they get delayed by a number of days. that is a real problem. >> the house has had several budget disputes. the budget impoundment and control act of 1974 -- this occurs almost every year. there is some crisis. yet, after 40 years of this, we still are not very good at figuring out how to operate the government. >> the effects of the government shut down on the fcc, monday on "the communicators." discussion on the obama
administration's relationship with the press in a recent study i the committee to protect journalists. this is sponsored by the new america foundation. it is an hour and a half. >> it is a great honor to be here along with these experts. i think i'm the only person on this panel i've never heard of. [laughter] this is one of those panels were everyone needs no introduction, but we do it anyway. to my left is lynn downey junior, professor at arizona state. very well known to this audience, of course thomas as vice president at large of the "washington post." -- is that years right? in the washington post newsroom. my apologies.
to his left -- joel simon, the executive director of the organization that published this exceptional report we will be talking about today. he was appointed as the executive director in 2006. for launchingible --e global campaign against joel's left is rajiv, also well known to this audience from his long-standing work with "the washington post." seniorurrently the correspondent and associate editor of "the washington post." he wrote "the light of the terrific case a
of work that became a movie with matt damon. journalist in residence at the international reporting project at the johns hopkins school for advanced studies in washington. today, i would like to start off -- if you would give us an overview of the reports today. >> quickly at the outset, i would like to say the question of reporters being subpoena was brought up. yesterday or the day before, james rison of the new york post lost his appellate case. is in the report, when you find his name. this appellate court decision has now gone against him. that will probably go to the supreme court, which will be a major, major test of the relationship between reporters and sources.
what rights do reporters have not to give away their sources? that could be a very important supreme court case a year or so, however long it takes. i advanced this report because i had written a few things are the washington post last year, may of this year about the obama administration, the very aggressive way they have been going after government officials who have provided information to reporters, particularly classified information, but not exclusively. toas asked by the committee report on the relationship between the obama administration and the press in this context of the kinds of work, the relationship between governments
and the press and the press's right to work. i found.prised by what it goes way beyond the war on leaks. i have found this administration to be remarkably controlling. i will tell you how that happened. my findings are based on several dozen interviews. news executive, government transparency advocates, government officials. plus, there is a study that i did -- i think these are the most complete accounts that anyone has come up with. during the bush and obama administrations -- so we can make comparisons, and the application of the patriot act and me national surveillance programs. the obama administration's aggressive war on leaks and its efforts to control the flow of
-- is without equal since the nixon administration and indirect on flicked with often statedma's goal of making his administration the most transparent in american history. i should say that i was one of the reporters on the watergate story in the early 1970's. i make that comparison with knowledge. here are components of what i found. an unprecedented number of leak and investigations. the obama administration officials and employees are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. every single journalist i have talked to says that is the case, whether or not they deal with classified information. six governments employees and to government contractors, including edward snowden of course, have been prosecuted
since 2009 for leaking information to the press. that is the most since the 1917 espionage act enacted during world war i to punish people for spying for foreign entities. here we have reporters -- people being prosecuted under that act for talking to reporters. since 1917, 90 years, when they began under the obama administration. probably the most frightening thing for government officials -- the justice department and the fbi has been successful in subpoenas forng communications between journalists and sources including fox news and the associated press. is allowedy general
to refuse to notify the media about subpoenas and communication records. this is a very big loophole. journalist education suggested by the president and recently approved test similarly broad acceptance of national security information, although judges would make a final decision on this leaving the attorney general. doubt, how would you find a journalist to be covered by the law? is ais digital age, what journalist is very broad. anyone can be a journalist of one kind or another. -- jewell maycern talk about this -- -- joel may talk about this.
say yount licensing to are a journalist or you are not come a depending on what they want they. fox news says that many sources will not talk to them at all. and this is not just the in which there have been routinely lie detector tests given to government officials. reporters naturally do not want to get into trouble. the insider tips program. in the aftermath of the revelation of weeks to wikileaks in the news media, president obama ordered and insider tips program throughout the government. not many people know about this. people have been told to monitor any suspicious outside activity including communications with the press. the director of the project on tells met secrecy
this has created internal surveillance and made people advocates in the press. the third issue -- administration have held a message for political advantage, but senior officials of this administration have what they call "unauthorized contact with the press discouraged." kind ofnot want any leaks to the news media, not necessarily classified information. reporters are most often referred to public affairs officials who are unresponsive and abusive. they sometimes will refuse to provide reporters public information that we all have a right to.
obama has repeatedly creating government websites and social media operations. it restricts the government accountability to the press. the websites are full of government created content. pictures of president obama taken by the white house press photographer when all other photographers are banned. this is one of my favorites. there is a full newscast called west wing week. it is oppose it news coverage of those events -- supposed news coverage of those events. social mediahave promoting the administration view. former cnn reporter and director of the school of the media
public affairs told me that the aim is to in news media completely. if used for propaganda purposes, like to avoid contact with journalists, this is a mixed result. part of the problem reporters ask as calling someone to routine question and expect a routine answer and it turns out the information is classified. there seems to be no good reason for it. the obama administration has taken credit for posting on the new community website -- previously secret documents explaining the in ca surveillance program. but it only did so after the revelation in documents released by edward snowden. not actedstration has on a congressionally authorized board which recommended many specific steps to carry out the
president's professed aim which would free government officials to discuss more public business with the press. the fifth issue is the failure to appear before the freedom of information act office. this was a directive issued on the president's for day in office to improve government foia requests.of too many government departments and agencies still reject far requests or delay response or demand expensive fees to fulfill them. an associated press survey earlier this year found the foiar of foia -- of requests turned down had increased ring the obama
administration. 80 organizations that advocate for government transparency -- the aim of the obama administration is reputedly out work better for the public. whistleblowers. president obama has also said he supports protecting government whistleblowers who reveal government waste, fraud, and abuse. but he and his administration drop no distinction between that and the revelation of policies and action which they punish with investigations, firing, and prosecution. president obama signed the whistleblower act of 2012, aims with protecting from retaliation government whistleblowers including state department employees. at the same time his administration one and appellate
or decision in august that takes away from many federal employees and eliminates the right to appeal, including the retaliation for whistleblowers. it classifies whistleblowers as spies under the 1975 espionage act. position is very unclear to me. lastly, the international implications. in addition to the threat posed to the work of foreign journalists by nsa surveillance -- which of course spies on american reporters. they can spy on the communications of foreign citizens. the obama administration press policies provide a questionable example for other countries at a time when this administration has been outspokenly advocating
for freedom of the press and other parts of the world. president obama faces many challenges in his remaining time in office obviously, the outcome of which will shape his legacy. accomplish could would be to make his administration the most .ransparent in history that is the sum of it. >> thank you very much. i would like to invite anyone tweeting about our discussion to use the hashtag #obamainthepress. this report we together a lot of disparate threads about the administration. a conflict be between government and the press in that we recognize the government has secrets to keep and will try hard to keep them. we would try hard to get them. the ones that were newsworthy and relevant and should be published, we would.
it seems in your report, you're not talking -- you are now talking about an administration that has stepped over the line between those two areas, essentially chilling the ability of any members to speak to the press. >> there are two things to say about that. first of all, there is the decision by the supreme court. if you are in the administration, you cannot stop it. you can always punish sources afterward. that is important to keep in mind. secondly, 9/11. a lot changed after 9/11. including the whole balance between exactly what we're talking about -- between revelations of government activity and national security and that balance. during the bush administration, published reports. there were a lot of conversations with
administration officials. those conversations were useful. they did continue during this administration, but in a somewhat different atmosphere. the third thing is when the obama administration came into office, they were put under -- great pressure by the spirit -- previous stories. rusher on the of obama administration to do something about it. it these investigations began under bush. these organizations have both democrats and republicans on the hill. also i believe the president himself -- he has not really spoken about this -- the president himself, he said something about he does not want secrets revealed that will put our noise at risk. there's not a lot we can do about that.
so, rajiv, joel, what you think of the explanations? it's pretty compelling. particularly as an editor oversees the publication for some of the stories over cia, you look back at the story, you look back at what was wiretapping and the bush administration responses to those. those decisions and discussions that led up to this, how thearly administration has responded, how they have compromised their view on national security, and there most of the cases have been expressions of
disgust, if you will. investigations. but nothing of the sort we see now. and you look at the investigation that has taken place in recent years and you compare them to some of the previous stories -- it seems like it is penny-ante stuff. tom brake at the nsa, which you write about or the ricin case. storiesings -- those a meaningful impact on american national security. and yet, those are some of the cases being pursued or have been pursued with particular vigor. so, it really has been a fundamental change in the approach taken by the government
in recent years compared to the preceding decades on this. >> i would also argue the cases --it was notrajiv whether the nsa program was too expensive and protected privacy. it was not about the content whatsoever. documents found in his home were not classified documents, and yet they still went after him. the case eventually fell apart. obviously, it is a very significant contribution we have seen, the attention it has gotten. when some of these investigations -- people were aware of them, aware of these policies, but putting them all agether suggest this is not haphazard response to certain particular events. there is a systematic effort here to marginalize and undermine the work of the press.
i think that is what the report really accomplishes. what i want to do is also talk significance the j -- whatuestion markcp is the significance of that? since 1881. around journalists work around the world. they have to fear for their lives. they go out and do a story. the recognition is that journalists in this country have unique protection of the first amendment. in our early years, we focused on that. those reporting efforts. but, you know, the recent events in this country -- and also our conversation with journalists overing this administration
led us to conclude the atmosphere was fundamentally different. that not only had an impact on the atmosphere of fear, but the potential for journalists. the u.s. press is in some ways the world's press. any erosion on the press here has an impact on people around the world. pressly, the u.s. inspires journalists around the world. solacegovernment takes in this deterioration country, gives them the ability to take repressive actions on their own. we asked lynn to carry this
report and asked him to do this independently. these are independent findings. we took the report and reviewed it both among our staff and provided recommendations based on work done independently and that was the process. this is an organization that not only devotes resources and skill, but also investigating and seeking action against journalists murdered in the pj toppines. and for c devote resources to shining a light on these issues and the thoughtful investigation of them is a remarkable step for international press freedom. true and the obama administration, like many administrations, focuses a lot on trying to promote free
expression and other countries. what you think that the issues catalogue here due to our credibility in other countries? -- i have apacific specific example. obama a case of president communicating to prime minister dogan in turkey -- er turkey. turkey is a strategic ally. they have a deep relationship with the united states. a strategic relationship. so, we had been advocating for some time that president obama speak directly with prime dogan.er er they had a bilateral meeting back in may. i think the day before that took the --the news about
i have no idea if that was on the agenda. if president obama had raised that, i think -- the same sort of thing happened with the nsa the statede and policies that president obama , challenginged china on its government- orchestrated hacking surveillance program. what ever you want to call it. i don't hear that stuff anymore. i don't hear it. >> i should add -- i don't know how many here work for the government, did work for the government. the leaks investigation, the constant pressure not to talk to reporters at all, but to the public affairs offices,
discouraging reporters from writing stories -- and just the presence of the nsa. but the very existence. have ase things combined tremendous chilling effect on government officials talking to the press. i stopped by the reporters in the washington post newsroom when i visited. keep quotingdo not the post. this is a daily life. the daily life is trying to get government officials to talk to them who are afraid to talk to them. about the link between the nsa program, the other sorts of government surveillance that not come up, and reporters feeling comfortable sending an e-mail to a government source? let me ask. the post had an exceptional
story a few weeks ago about the effect of the investigation on these whistleblowers. it is really talking about how the mechanism of united states government as one person can do you think the early prosecutions -- tro national information that would damage the united states was really done to make a point and say this is what can happen? >> we do not know about that motivation. ,e do know because they said so the intelligence community was looking for that previously. the beginning of the administration told "the new york times " on the record this was the intention to get the justice department to prosecute these people have a chilling effect on the other people. >> we talked about the insider at